Thursday, May 12, 2016

Relationship Rules I Broke (and WEDDING PHOTOS!)

Happy Thursday everyone!

Today I have a different type of post to share today.  I don't talk about relationships or my dating life much on the blog, but I'm switching it up today!  I got married last Friday, and I thought it would be fun to share some relationship rules that I broke while Dan and I dated.

I'll also be sharing some wedding pictures!  We got married at the Butterfly Falls at the Hidden Valley Inn in Belize (more on the Inn in upcoming posts!), and the pictures turned out absolutely amazing.  Since we had a "just the two of us" ceremony, there's not much to talk about the actual wedding.  In lieu of a full post on that, I'll be sharing some background information on our relationship, along with wedding photos and some #ThrowbackThursday pictures.  I hope you enjoy (and I promise- back to running stuff next week!)



Guys are immature, so date someone older


I've always read in magazines (which, by the way, have the worst dating advice) that guys are less mature than women, so to compensate you should date someone a few years older. However, I think that if you find the right person age doesn't matter at all.  Dan is a year younger than me, and most women in my family
ended up marrying someone younger!


Some people say that age is nothing but a number, and I think this is definitely true.  Some guys are always going to be immature, no matter if they're 20 or 80, and others mature really early.  I always think it's most important to look at the specific person and find out if your personalities and life styles mesh.  For Dan and me, this means never taking ourselves too seriously, and maintaining a child-like (not childish) outlook on life.


Be friends first, then date

A little back story on how Dan and I met-

During his sophomore year, Dan lived in supplemental living in the dorms, which means that they packed 8 guys into one room.  One of his roommates (Tyler) was my best friend in the Blue Band at Penn State, so I knew who Dan was but never really talked with him.


In Dan's junior year/my senior year, he decided to try out for the marching band as well.  Band camp is held the week before classes start, so neither one of us could move into our apartments yet.  Luckily, Tyler had an apartment over the summer and let us both stay with him.  Dan and I got to talking and started going on dates during band camp.  The rest is history :)


Even though I've heard that you should marry someone who is your best friend or you should be friends with someone before you start to date them, sometimes you just know that someone is the right one for you.  While I think it's great to know someone really well first, that can turn awkward quickly if you don't share the same feelings, or if things don't end up working out.  


Long distance doesn't work

After I graduated from college, Dan and I kept dating while he was still in school.  I was working back in Pittsburgh and he was still back at Penn State finishing up his senior year.  Most people say that long-distance (even if it's not that long) won't work out, particularly during a big transitional time in life.


I was working full time and living on my own for the first time in my life, while Dan was studying for exams and working on the Formula One car team at school in his free time.  That meant that we didn't get to see each other very often or even get to talk on the phone much!  While this might seem like a recipe for disaster, it ended up working for us.


We set clear expectations ahead of time, and had some ground rules.  One of these was that we always sent a text in the morning and at night, but didn't expect to get any during the day.  We talked on the weekends, but didn't get upset if the other person was busy all week and couldn't talk.  During his school breaks and holidays, we tried to meet up (and we went to Costa Rica during his spring break!), but if something came up with our families we were understanding.


Long distance can definitely be challenging and a lot of work, but I think that once you set expectations going in (and then follow them) it can work out!  Luckily, technology is amazing today and it's really easy to Facetime, Skype, or call someone even from across the world!


Never go to sleep mad


If you ask pretty much anyone what their number one piece of advice is, they will probably say to never go to sleep mad.  I can completely understand why this would work for some people, but for Dan and me this doesn't work at all!


For some reason, both of us get really cranky after 10:00, and any argument or issue that we have gets 1000 times worse at night.  When we were dating long-distance, we even had a rule that we couldn't text or call after 10:00! Once we both wake up, we're in much better moods and are more capable of making logical, rather than emotional, arguments.  While I wish I didn't go to bed mad, I know that in the end it's for the best!  With most things in relationships, I think it's important to figure out what works best for the two of you, and not listen to what other people say you should do.


You should have the same interests

While I agree that it's important to have similar values and goals in life, I think there's a huge benefit to having different interests.  I've learned so much from Dan (and hopefully he has from me as well) just because we're into different things.   Plus, I've gotten to experience so many new activities just because it's different than what I've been into my entire life!



For example, Dan is really into outdoors activities like rock climbing, camping, zip lining, kayaking, etc.  I never really did any of that stuff growing up, so when we started dating and I got to learn about his interests, it completely opened up my eyes to new interests!  I've shared my love of the orchestra, traveling, cooking and running with Dan.  I feel like both of our lives are so much more full now that we can try new things together.

Another benefit of having different interests is maintaining some independence.  While I love spending time with Dan, I also love having activities that are just for me.  It's nice to do things alone occasionally, and then share with him at the end of the day!





Outfit Details

Shoes- old from Marshalls (similar)
Dan's shirt- Columbia
Dan's pants- Columbia
Dan's shoes- Salomon

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54 comments:

  1. Love this--in the words of Kevin Hart: You do you boo :D CONGRATULATIONS!

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  2. Congratulations! Your dress is beautiful and it looks like you had a wonderful wedding. I definitely agree with some of your thoughts here: as much as I love doing things with my husband, it is nice that we have independent activities to do with friends or if they other is not around. Best wishes!

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  3. YES to all of this!! (though, I've never done long distance so I can't comment on that, ha!) I definitely agree with going to be angry! Sometimes you really do need to just sleep on it. And I started dating Alex a few weeks after we met soooo we clearly didn't do the friends first thing.

    I know I already told you this, but you looked SO beautiful. Your dress is just so amazing and I love that you got married just the two of you.

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    1. We are SO similar Morgan :) Thank you so much for the sweet comments!

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  4. Your wedding dress is gorgeous! Congrats on getting married and best wishes!
    Ryan and I started dating right after we met (like, one week later) and did long distance for years. Rules are silly - when it's right, you make it work!

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    1. Thank you Laura! And you're absolutely right about that :)

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  5. Loved reading this and seeing throwback photos :) Gosh, I still can't get over that you got married in Belize! What a beautiful place. Congrats again!

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  6. I love hearing other peoples relationship stories. And I definitely think that age has nothing to do with maturity. It sounds like the wedding // whole week was perfect, low key & stress free, which is really what a wedding should be.

    I definitely agree on the separate interests bit. It's nice to have something that is just yours & vise versa.

    The BF & I met online & started dating officially just a few weeks later, so I'm certain I broke some rules too.

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    1. That's so interesting! It seems like most people I know nowadays met their partner online. I'm glad you found a good one!

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  7. Congratulations, Gretchen! I loved seeing your wedding photos. What a beautiful place to get married! I agree completely about breaking relationship rules. I met Dave on a blind date, and we immediately started dating and then moved in together shortly after. That was more than 18 years ago!

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    1. Wow! That's great everything worked out. Crazy that you met on a blind date!

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  8. Congratulations! Looks like such a beautiful place to get married.

    I got married the weekend before last. And my husband and I broke a lot of these rules too! :)

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    1. Congratulations to you! I hope you're enjoying the newlywed life :)

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  9. Congrats!! Your photos look great and it sounds like it was a beautiful wedding. I love that you two did a non-traditional just-for-you thing - and in paradise, no less!

    I agree with all of these! My sig other is actually 2 years younger than me and all of our interests are very different (but we share enough to at least have something in common!). I actually kind of like that he is not a runner. It's kind of nice to have something that is "my thing", like I'm sure he appreciates that brewing beer is his thing, etc. I think if I were with someone who shared all of my interests and hobbies it would feel suffocating.

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    1. It sounds like you two are really similar to Dan and me. As much as I wish he would love running, it is nice to have that to myself. Plus- if I need time away that's a great way to do it AND be healthy :)

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  10. You're such a rebel, you! Ha ha. Well, Jason and I were best friends when we started dating, and the only good thing that came out of that is that now that we're divorced, we are able to fall back onto the foundation of our friendship when we feel like we want to kill each other.

    I used to hate going to bed mad, but as I grew older and more mature (HA!) I'm realizing that oftentimes the thing we need the most is just a little bit of time. Time helps the emotional temperatures go down a bit, so that the rational parts of our brains can come back online. And there's nothing better than sleep to help pass the time quickly.

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    1. Haha this is the only thing in my life that I've been a rebel about! I'm usually such a rule follower, but in my relationship I was completely unconventional.

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  11. OMG you guys are adorbs. I agree, be friends first! Then you already know what you have in common. :)

    Your dress is amazing. It looks like your day was perfect. CONGRATS!!!!!!!! xxoo

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  12. Congratulations, lady!! I think any kind of "rules" need to be taken with a grain of salt. Some things work for some people, while others find success with the complete opposite. I guess at the end of the day, you just need to figure out what works for you and do that!

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  13. I totally forgot to say Congratulations!! Ahh I am THRILLED for you guys! LOVEEEEE the dress. Pictures are amazing. I hope to hear and see more about it! I actually don't go to sleep mad, mostly because I can't sleep, lol. I think we did once? Aaron is older but there really wasn't a reason why that happened, lol. Oh and we're complete opposite on interests!

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    1. Thank you so much Heather!! And if that works for you- that's great! Finding what works is sometimes the hardest part of a relationship. Once you figure it out and stick to it, that can fix a lot of issues :)

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  14. Love this and so happy for you!!!!!! It's funny to think about these arbitrary rules. I don't necessarily follow them, but I've fallen into some of the categories (dating someone older, having similar interests). You look so happy and gorgeous in the wedding photos!

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  15. Congratulations Gretchen!!! :) I really like reading other people's perspectives on relationships. I SOOOO agree with you on going to bed mad. People tend to be soooo adamant about that one, and I know they mean well, but every time I've tried to follow that rule, it is a DISASTER to say the least. Trying to drag an argument out until you reach a "resolution" usually just ends up with both of us getting more upset and the argument expanding WAAAY beyond where it needs to, especially if it's at night and we're tired. So, I will 100% go to bed angry too and I'm glad it's not just me. :P

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    1. YES I'm so glad I'm not the only one who thinks that way. That's just how we work :)

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  16. Aww these pics are great <3 I agree with the different interests and maintaing independence- I have a few friends that pretty much just do whatever their bf/husband wants and don't have enough of a life on their own. PS that's so cute you're older- my mom was a year older than my dad and in high school it was a bigger deal being a cougar ;) Congrats again!!

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    1. Thanks Jessica! I definitely didn't want to be one of those clingy girlfriends who relied on him for everything!

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  17. I love this! Your wedding was beautiful and you both look so happy. "Rules" were clearly made to be broken :) Huge congrats!

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  18. Love this post, and your ceremony looks so sweet. I would love for my future wedding to be "just the two of us" although our families would kill us and I know it isn't in the cards... Congratulations!

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    1. Thanks Alyssa! I knew the day should be all about us, so we stuck to our guns :)

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  19. This is great, because it means that every relationship does not have to look the same. Each one has a beautiful story, and I've seen God's grace in so many stories. :))) <3

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  20. Okay I love reading about this! I completely agree that having your own interests is so important. I need to have time to myself sometimes and Paul and I are pretty good about doing our own thing often. Also I agree with the long distance! It's not the most fun thing in the world but I think that goes along with learning to have your own independence. Congrats again on getting married Gretchen!

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    1. Thanks Amanda! I'm glad you also made long distance work.

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  21. I love this! My husband and I followed zero protocol--we moved in together after three months and then moved to a different state together one year after we met! It hasn't always been picture perfect, but it sure has been fun and truly authentic. (To really bring the story home, I found out I was pregnant a week after our wedding!). ;-)

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  22. Umm....more dress pictures please! Can't wait to see more of your photos! You look absolutely beautiful! It was fun to read your take on some common relationship advice! I'm a "whatever works for you" kind of person. No two people are alike so no two relationship combinations are going to be alike and it's all about finding what works for you and your partner. Sounds like you and Dan have done a great job of that!

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  23. Congratulations! The pictures are beautiful and I am so happy for you! You have really set the bar high in terms of wedding goals! I love subject of this post. My boyfriend and I have been long distance for over a year and while it was NOT EASY at times I feel like we are in an even better place because we got through it. And we definitely did not become best friends until after we started dating and there is nothing wrong with that!

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  24. Congratulations on your wedding!! Beautiful Pictures!

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  25. HUGE congratulations! Love your dress and love all of the pictures! <3 so happy for you and Dan!

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  26. Yay! Congratulations to you, beautiful!

    We definitely broke the long distance rule too. People told us that LDRs NEVER work but here we are 8 years later and married for almost 3 so I'm pretty sure those people are now eating their words :P

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  27. I was totally teary eyed reading through this. <3 I'm SO excited for you, and I can't wait to see you sometime soon and catch up and hear about it all! Congratulations!

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  28. Loved this! My mom is 3 years younger than my dad, so I'm cool with dating younger men. ;) You and Dan are so cute! Congrats again!

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  29. Awe, what a beautiful location! I love that it was just the two of you, so special! I can't agree with you more. I think differing interests definitely exposes each other to new things in life, but it's also great to have interests that you enjoy as well. I think the biggest lesson I learned in my last relationship was you can't force someone to like what you like. If they're not open to trying new things, it can be a bit of a roadblock in your relationship. I like to be open minded to all the possibilities and opportunities the world has to offer us, and I'm so thankful to of found someone who shares the same mindset as I do.

    kaitlyn-danielle.blogspot.com

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  30. I have to refrain myself from typing this entire comment in capital letters because that would just be obnoxious. Just know that I’m stoked and jumping over the moon in happiness for the two of you. When I saw the news on Facebook, I audibly said, “Shut up!” Everyone around me was really confused, and then I had to explain which just made me all the happier. A huge congratulations to you and Dan. I loved the pictures, and I loved the broken rules narrative. You two are wonderful and your wedding was beautiful. Here’s a to a thriving marriage!

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  31. CONGRATULATIONS!!! What a gorgeous place to get married and that's so special that it was just the two of you :) I did long distance with my current fiancé for over a year and we're still going strong--- it's all about how to approach it!

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  32. congrats on getting married!! cheers to a happy marriage :)
    we basically break all of these rules as well. well, long distance worked for a year and a half and then it stopped working lol but apart from that, we're the same. KC and I don't share a lot of interests, except we both really love subtitles which I think was the deciding factor in getting married. what a horrible marriage it would be if one of you liked subtitles and the other didn't haha. i think you just gotta do you, no matter what rules you may or may not be breaking.

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  33. We recently had our wedding at this place, and we couldn't have been happier. We had a particular vision for our wedding, and we were given just that. The New York wedding venues have a unique space, with an incredible view. Highly recommended!

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